The tumor.

1 year, 7 months and 24 days ago I woke up from surgery to a social media sea of this picture.

I’m not sure I’ve ever felt more love. Everyone should have brain surgery. Jk. It hurts.
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Let’s back up a bit.
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When you find out you have a brain tumor you…
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Barely cry, because you need two working eyes to google everything. Wait, did she say google? Yeahhhhh. You see, I had some funky symptoms which led to an MRI. My general philosophy was to avoid doctors. They are over precautionary, me thinks. An MRI is most assuredly overkill, me thinks more.
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It was a Friday afternoon before Thanksgiving of 2015 when I went to lay in that loud wretched tube. Upon leaving, I asked the MRI tech if I could see my brain. That’d be fun, right? He made me a cd and off home I bounced.
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We popped the CD in the computer. Hubs was flipping through images of my brain, I had my nose in my phone not really paying attention. I looked up just long enough to take a picture of the screen and caught a glimpse of his face.
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“Did you see that?” he says with a tone I’ll never forget. I look again to see a solid white ball on one side of my brain.
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Doctor’s office was closed. It was a Friday night, so we ordered pizza.. googled tumors.. and buckled up until Monday.

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PART TWO

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What we saw on those images was a ping pong sized Acoustic Neuroma, a noncancerous slow growing tumor. It was a rare tumor, but a surgeon who specialized in AN just so happened to practice at a little (kidding) hospital in our backyard, The Ohio State University.
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(Significant, why? I was born and raised in sunny south Florida. I met a central Ohio boy and moved here when we got married… with a time bomb in my head… and the exact surgeon I would need, waiting for me a few years later. Oh hi, God.)
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I blushed as my surgeon told me I was the youngest person he’d operated on with this tumor (sarcasm).
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We learned: it had to come out asap, I’d lose my hearing in one ear but outlook was good on not dying.
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“Go enjoy your daughters and Christmas, I’ll see you the first of the year.” He didn’t say to eat everything in sight, but I did that too.
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12 hours. Brain surgery. Me. Crazy.
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Post surgery was promised to be brutal. Pain, dizziness, vomiting, newly deaf, unable to walk (due to my balance nerve being intentionally severed during surgery), facial paralysis (hopefully temporary, permanent possible), a shaved head, crazy scar, a VERY different world awaited me on the other side of anesthesia.
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I was wheeled off with happy juice in my veins. Hubs found a spot in the waiting room and it was go time.

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PART THREE

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It’s easy to recap every detail leading up to my surgery. I like my story. It’s full of God’s grace and glory. It makes me thankful and grateful and strong. And let’s be honest, my scar is super cool.

But unpacking the emotions that took place after brain surgery aren’t my favorite.
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People gravitate toward tragedy. No one wants the pain, but everyone is watching closely to see how it plays out for you. Will she drop off the grid? Will she have an ‘07 Britney breakdown? I could’ve posted a picture of my pinky toe and scored a few hundred likes. And I’m not ashamed to say, I LOVED IT. All eyes were on me and my story and since I had the mic, He got the glory.
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I didn’t know why God allowed a foreign object to grow in my head, but I knew Him. My walk with Him to that point had taught me: He is good—even in the pit, He is near—especially in the pit, He is most illuminated—the darker the pit.
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I knew what to do in the mystery of my diagnosis. Lean on Him. Heck—I basically just hitched a piggy back ride, letting Him carry me through every minute. I put the phone down. I picked the Bible up. I looked at the faces of my favorite people. I cherished them. I didn’t get frustrated with them. I was patient. I was joyful. I was present. I was passionate.
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I remember before learning what type of tumor had attached to my brain, I had to grapple with the possibility I might not live to see my babes (then 2 and 1) grow up. You mom differently after that. (You also make sure your husband knows you’ll haunt him if he ever thinks of moving on. 😂🤷🏻‍♀️)
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I’m supposed to be writing about what happened after surgery. The conclusion. But you see, I don’t like it. I don’t want to talk about it. There is physical pain, disfiguration, disability, loss of self, loneliness—AND NO ONE BRINGING YOU BROWNIES OR LIKING YOUR PINKY TOE PICTURES. I picked back up the phone. I stopped relying on The Word for life giving breath. I traded patience for irritability and allowed life to swallow me up again.
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The point is, you’re not getting a part 3 yet. I am wasting my life in the weary and you can’t book end with that.

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